Monday, October 29, 2012

writing on the wall

For the past decade the majority of my handwritten communication has been in architectural script.  I have acquired proficiency that would have received approval from the modernists, who were the last generation of architects to care about such things.  No one really hand letters their drawings anymore.  As fast as I am in laying out rows of slightly angled and canted text, I will never write as fast as I can in cursive. Additionally, grammar sticklers may not be so easy to overlook missives written in all capital letters.  I excuse my loud writing by stating that I am doing my part to preserve a dying skill.

Of course this is not entirely true.  The biggest reason I have for my script is that it is androgynous and neutral.  My block print makes me cringe.  I don't know how it is that boys and girls are taught the same writing skills and yet they write very differently.  My writing, like that of my sister and best friend, is horrifyingly "girly."  I have tried to vary my letters over the years but I still feel like my block print conveys immaturity.  It is like my hand has permanently retained the muscle memory of a ten year old girl and all that is missing is for me to draw little circles in place of punctuation dots.

My cursive fares only slightly better.  While I am only thinking of expediency when I lay down cursive text, I have discovered that handwriting experts see something entirely different.  Apparently the angle of my letters conveys high emotions while the size of my letters conveys tension.  Given the choice of presenting myself as a ten year old girl or a neurotic mess, you may be able to understand why I went for a new form of handwriting.  An advantage is that writing in capital letters makes it hard for lettering sleuths to glean personality traits.  If you want to learn about me, you will have to rely on the content of my letter as I exclaim my greeting in all caps.  Hopefully my letter doesn't communicate like a crazed pre-teen.

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